Bert Strom was the only child of Trygve Strom and Henrietta Dahl. He was born in Petersburg, Alaska, on October 4, 1936. He spent most of his boyhood in Sitka, Alaska, where he enjoyed participating in the Boy Scouts and observing the exciting WWII bustle of the Naval Station. A sailor gave him a sailor hat and he wore it everywhere! His parents moved to Seattle and Bert finished high school at Lincoln High and started his education at the University of Washington. He took a summer job with the U.S. Forest Service in north Idaho and he knew that was the vocation for him! He began a long and proud career with the U.S. Forest Service.
He met and married Jean Wonser, the prettiest soda shop girl in St. Maries, Idaho, on June 6, 1958. Bert served in the 1st Cavalry of the U.S. Army from 1959-1962, including a tour in Korea. In 1965, Bert and Jean were blessed with a baby boy, Mark Strom. The little family lived on ranger stations in Clarkia and then Salmon, Idaho. In these beautiful areas, Bert enjoyed his photography hobby, taking and developing his own photos. In 1980, the Strom family moved to Emmett, Idaho, and in 1988, Bert and Jean moved to Boise. They enjoyed being grandparents to Krista, Robin, and Ricky. Bert took the little girls bicycling on the Greenbelt and to the Boise River Festival with hot air balloons. In 1994, Bert retired from the U.S. Forest Service and began working for the Idaho Department of Lands, creating fire management planning tools with GIS technology. Civil service was a passion for Bert!
In 2004, Bert lost his sight and had to retire from the Idaho Department of Lands. A few years later, his wife Jean passed away. Despite these setbacks, Bert did not give up. He began a new chapter of his life at Valley View Independent Living, where he kept busy participating in the Blinded Veterans Association and teaching others about blindness. He helped create fun activities for the other residents, such as “Name That Tune” and he loved to prepare and display patriotic and seasonal flags in the atrium of Valley View. He listened to a lot of “Talking Books” from the Idaho State Library and the Library of Congress and dreamed of writing a book of his own on the American flag.
Bert is survived by his son Mark (Kristin) of Boise, Idaho; his granddaughter Krista Strom of Talent, Oregon; his granddaughter Robin McKenzie (Shawn) and great granddaughters Alice and Madelyn of Boise, Idaho; and his grandson Ricky Davis and great grandsons Landon and Elijah of Meridian and Nampa, Idaho. He is predeceased by his wife Jean and grandson Ryan.
Click here to view a webcast of the service on 10/16/2021 at 10:15 AM, Mountain Standard Time.
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